AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #02-09 dated 20 January 2009
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Section I - INTELLIGENCE HIGHLIGHTS
IG Faults Oversight Of Security Contractors, Says State Dept. Might Have Violated Rules. The State Department may have violated federal regulations in turning over management aspects of its multibillion-dollar private security contract in Iraq to other contractors, according to the department's inspector general.
The report, produced by a regional IG office established last year to keep closer watch on expenditures in Iraq and Afghanistan, says the State Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security had been "highly effective in ensuring the safety" of diplomatic personnel in Iraq. There have been no casualties among U.S. diplomatic and civilian officials protected by contractors under the bureau's supervision.
"However," it says, "the rapid rise in use and scale of private security contractors has strained the Department's ability to effectively manage them." Department efforts, the IG found, were "undermined by frequent staff turnover, understaffing, increased workload, and the lack of standardized operating policies and procedures."
Contracts require security companies to submit "muster sheets" verifying personnel are present and available for work. But the report says contracting and government security officers did not effectively review the sheets. Although contractors had "recurring difficulties" maintaining their staffs of marksmen, emergency services technicians and interpreters, the department "never invoked the financial deduct penalty clause for this violation."
The report says contractors had been hired to keep track of government equipment supplied to security contractors in Iraq - including more than 500 vehicles, 7,500 weapons, $4 million in annual ammunition purchases and "sensitive communications items." The contracting of this "inherently governmental function," it says, was a possible violation of federal acquisition regulations.
The report does not address the specific performance of any of the three security firms State employs in Iraq - Blackwater Worldwide, Triple Canopy and DynCorp International, which in turn have a total of 1,290 security workers there. Blackwater, with 968 employees in Iraq as of September, is by far the largest and handles diplomatic security in the capital and much of the central part of the country.
There is no mention of the indictment last month of six Blackwater guards in a 2007 shooting incident in Baghdad that left at least 14 Iraqi civilians dead. The incident led Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to change procedures for guarding diplomatic convoys and to calls to cancel Blackwater's contract when it is due for review this spring. An umbrella Worldwide Personal Protective Services contract covers the State Department's relationship with the three companies, each of which is capped at $1.2 billion in payments over a five-year period, with annual reviews, for services in Iraq and elsewhere. The current contract was first signed in 2005.
The IG found that neither the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad nor the Bureau of Diplomatic Security had reviewed how many security contractors were needed or where they should be deployed since the embassy opened in June 2004 - a period of rapid security change, for better and for worse, in Iraq. Last August in Kirkuk, for example, investigators found 14 guards assigned to protect one Foreign Service officer. In the embassy's Basra regional office, 113 security contractors were assigned to guard personnel who had left their fortified military base only five times since January. At Tallil Air Base, north of Basra, "there were no security protection movements for more than six consecutive months despite the 30 to 53 security specialists stationed there," the report says.
Officials interviewed by inspectors "explained the high operational tempo in Iraq limited their ability to make an in-depth assessment of security requirements and determine whether the current configuration of security assets still made sense." [DeYoung/WashingtonPost/10January2009]
US Veterans Sue CIA for Alleged Drug and Mind Control Experiments. It was 1968, and Frank Rochelle was 20 years old and fresh out of Army boot camp when he saw notices posted around his base in Virginia asking for volunteers to test uniforms and equipment.
That might be a good break after the harsh weeks of boot camp, he thought, and signed up.
Instead of equipment testing, though, the Onslow county, North Carolina, native found himself in a bizarre, CIA-funded drug testing and mind-control program, according to a lawsuit that he and five other veterans and Vietnam Veterans of America filed last week. The suit was filed in federal court in San Francisco against the US department of defense and the CIA.
The plaintiffs seek to force the government to contact all the subjects of the experiments and give them proper healthcare.
The experiments have been the subject of congressional hearings, and in 2003 the US department of veterans affairs released a pamphlet that said nearly 7,000 soldiers had been involved and more than 250 chemicals used on them, including hallucinogens such as LSD and PCP as well as biological and chemical agents.
Lasting from 1950 to 1975, the experiments took place at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland. According to the lawsuit, some of the volunteers were even implanted with electrical devices in an effort to control their behavior.
Rochelle, 60, who has come back to live in Onslow county, said in an interview that there were about two dozen volunteers when he was taken to Edgewood. Once there, they were asked to volunteer a second time, for drug testing. They were told that the experiments were harmless and that their health would be carefully monitored, not just during the tests but afterward, too.
The doctors running the experiments, though, couldn't have known the drugs were safe, because safety was one of the things they were trying to find out, Rochelle said.
Rochelle said he was given just one breath of a chemical in aerosol form that kept him drugged for two and a half days, struggling with visions. He said he saw animals coming out of the walls and his freckles moving like bugs under his skin. At one point, he tried to cut the freckles out with a razor.
Not all the men in his group tested drugs. But he said even those who just tested equipment were mistreated.
The tests lasted about two months. Later, Rochelle was sent to Vietnam.
Now he's rated 60% disabled by the veterans affairs department, he said, and has struggled to keep his civilian job working on US marine bases. He has breathing problems, and his short-term memory is so bad that he once left his son at a gas station.
Among other problems, he said, his doctor diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder and said it came from the drug experiment. He has trouble sleeping and still sometimes has visions from the drug, he said.
A big goal of the lawsuit, Rochelle said, is to get the word out to the thousands of soldiers who were tested. Some may have forgotten all about the tests and not know that's why they now have health problems..[EDITORIAL COMMENT: Or at least supposedly have problems that they now wish to claim solely came from the CIA experiments. This smells more like a case of "if you've got a phone, you've got a lawsuit."] [Guardian/12January2009]
Indonesian AG Files Appeal in Spy Case. Indonesia's attorney general has filed an appeal against a court decision last month in which a former top intelligence official was acquitted of the murder of a human rights activist.
The acquittal of Muchdi Purwoprandjono, a former deputy chief of the National Intelligence Agency, of the murder of activist Munir Thalib, prompted widespread criticism.
The case was seen as a test of Indonesia's commitment to rule of law and state accountability, and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had promised that justice would be done when he was elected in 2004.
Jasman Pandjaitan, a spokesman for the attorney-general's office, said that a detailed appeal, related to the murder of Munir, would be sent to the South Jakarta district court within 14 days.
Munir died of arsenic poisoning on board a flight from Singapore to Amsterdam in 2004. [Reuters/12January2009]
NSA Helps Name Most Dangerous Programming Mistakes. A group of more than 30 computer organizations has taken what some are calling a big step toward making software more secure.
Led by experts from the U.S. National Security Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, Microsoft and Symantec, the group plans to publish on Monday a blueprint outlining the most dangerous software programming errors.
The list represents the first time the industry has reached consensus on the worst things that can happen when software is being written.
More than just a list, however, the document could be used as a negotiating tool between buyers and software vendors, said Alan Paller, director of research with the SANS Institute, a security training group that spearheaded the work.
In fact, New York State is now developing procurement documents that could be used by state agencies to make their vendors certify that their code contains none of these programming errors. Ultimately that will make the vendor, not the state, responsible when buggy software leads to a security problem.
Paller expects that this kind of certification, virtually unknown today, will become more common now that such a large part of the industry has agreed on what programming errors are most dangerous. But he expects it to be used in large custom-coding contracts rather than in the software licensing agreements used for widely distributed software such as Microsoft Windows.
The flaws include things such as allowing for SQL injection or cross-site scripting attacks, sending sensitive information in clear text, which can be easily read, and hard-coding security passwords into programs, where they're hard to change if discovered. The list of errors is set to be posted here.
Two of these bugs led to more than 1.5 million Web site breaches last year, SANS said. And that was just the start: Often, these Web breaches were used by online attackers to then launch more attacks against people who surfed the hacked sites. [McMillan/IDG/12January2009]
61 Ex-Guantanamo Inmates Return to Terrorism. The Pentagon said that 61 former detainees from its military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, appear to have returned to terrorism since their release from custody.
Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said 18 former detainees are confirmed and 43 suspected of "returning to the fight."
He said the figures, updated at the end of December, showed a higher rate of recidivism than seen in a previous report showing 37 former detainees as active militants.
He provided no details about the detainees or their countries of origin.
The numbers were generated by the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency based on fingerprints, photographs and intelligence reports, he said.
Pentagon officials say scores of detainees still in custody should never be released because of the potential danger they pose to U.S. interests. [Gray&Morgan/Reuters/13January2009]
Israel Charges Journalists With Espionage. An Israeli court has indicted two journalists, who worked for the Iranian Arabic-language news network al-Alam, on charges of espionage.
Alma correspondent Khezir Shahin and producer Mohammed Saran have been indicted in an Israeli court for passing information to the enemy, Israeli Army Radio reported.
The indictment came after an Israeli court forced the two journalists, who hold Israeli citizenships, to remain in detention for over a week without pressing charges. Shahin and Saran were taken into custody on January 5.
Israeli authorities claim that the two journalists had violated censorship laws by covering the launch of the ground incursion into the Gaza Strip before the military had cleared the information for publication.
In Israel, all journalists must sign an agreement to abide by Israeli censorship laws in order to get government authorization. In this way, the Israeli military has the power to shut down media outlets or detain journalists when it feels their work may pose a 'security threat'.
Since the beginning of their deadly offensive into Gaza, Israeli forces have injured several journalists, including an Algerian ENTV network cameraman who died December 27 because of the severity of the wounds he sustained during an air raid.
A Press TV station in Gaza has also come under attack during the Israeli attacks.
According to Press TV correspondent Hamada Ghraib the building was targeted even though lights were constantly shining on the roof, marking the building.
The UN has called on Israel to halt its military censorship and lift the ban on local and international media professionals entering Gaza.
The UN says Israel must provide journalists from international media outlets permission to immediately entry into the Gaza Strip and allow full and independent coverage of events.
UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Kenichiro Matsuura has also urged Israel to respect the freedom of the press as well as UN resolutions which prohibit attacks on journalists and media installations. [Presstv/15January2009]
Israeli Charged with Attempting to Spy on Behalf of Iran. Israel Police and the Shin Bet on Thursday indicted an Israeli citizen living in Argentina for allegedly attempting to spy on Israel on behalf of Iran.
Mauricio Segel, who is a resident of Argentina, was arrested three weeks ago. He has been indicted on charges of holding contact with a foreign agent.
According to the indictment, Segel went to Tehran's embassy in Argentina in 2006 and offered to help Iranian nationals gain access to Israeli documents. The defendant allegedly supplied the Iranians with his own passport and identification card and offered to provide more information in return for money.
Segel was arrested by officials from the Shin Bet and the police's international crimes unit upon landing in Israel three weeks ago.
According to the Israeli investigation, the defendant supplied Iran with names of people he knew apparently working for the defense establishment. [Harel/Haaretz/15January2009]
Taiwan to Keep Up China talks Despite Spy Case. Taiwan plans to continue to its high-level talks with rival China, a senior official said Thursday, despite media reports that a presidential office staffer was arrested on suspicion of spying for Beijing.
But the island's opposition has urged the government to review its policy of pursuing warming ties with China in light of the recent case.
Since President Ma Ying-jeou came into power last May, he has vowed to reform his predecessor's hardline anti-China stance, and improve trade relations with China to boost Taiwan's economy. Under his watch, Taiwan has resumed high-level talks and begun regular direct transportation links with China.
On Thursday, Mainland Affairs Council Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan told reporters that Taiwan will continue to hold talks with China in 2009. The Mainland Affairs Council is Taiwan's Cabinet-level agency in charge of implementing the government's China policy.
"We hope to bolster positive interactions between the two sides through negotiations this year," she said. "We hope to start talking about financial cooperation issues."
The comments came a day after presidential spokesman Wang Yu-chi said a senior presidential office staffer was arrested on suspicion of leaking documents related to Ma's May inauguration. Wang said the leak violated the island's National Security Law.
Taiwanese media subsequently reported that the staffer had passed classified information to a Chinese agent last year. The law is usually applied to espionage relating to China.
Lai declined to comment on media reports.
But opposition Democratic Progressive Party Spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang said Thursday that the espionage case "shows that the Ma administration needs to review its China-friendly policies." [IHT/9January2009]
CIA: Al-Qaida Tied Up in Pakistan. The CIA has hampered al-Qaida's free rein in the tribal region of western Pakistan, and Iran appears to be nearing a decision on whether to build a nuclear warhead, departing CIA chief Michael Hayden said.
"The great danger was that the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan was a safe haven. My belief is that it is neither safe nor a haven," Hayden said at the agency's headquarters in Langley, Va., in what probably was his final briefing for reporters.
Hayden said the progress in the tribal region was a "big deal." It is the result, he said, of the Bush administration's push to dislodge al-Qaida from the enclave the terrorist network established on the Pakistan border after fleeing Afghanistan in 2001 after the Sept. 11 attacks. [Htrnews/16January2009]
Iran Court Convicts Four Over Alleged US-Backed Plot. Iran's official news agency reports that four Iranians have been convicted and sentenced to prison in an alleged US-backed plot to topple the government.
IRNA says Tehran's Revolutionary Court sentenced the four to jail on charges of trying to overthrow the Islamic government with the alleged support of the U.S. State Department and the CIA.
The report did not provide any further details, including the length of the sentences or the men's names.
The news agency quoted a court statement Saturday as saying the Iranians are now in jail.
On Tuesday, a judiciary spokesman, Ali Reza Jamshidi, said the four were detained and tried in Tehran. He said they planned to recruit others to be trained in anti-Iranian activities abroad. [AP/9January2009]
Michigan Man Accused of Spying for Iraq Pleads Guilty. A suburban Detroit man accused of spying for Saddam Hussein's former regime and sharing information with the executed Iraqi dictator's intelligence service has pleaded guilty.
Najib Shemami pleaded guilty to aiding Iraq without approval from the U.S. government. The 60-year-old was accused of traveling to Iraq to report on U.S. and Turkish military activities and supply information about Iraqi natives living in the United States.
Defense lawyer Ed Wishnow says he'll argue at sentencing in May that the Sterling Heights man was coerced by Saddam's regime. Shemami likely faces about four years in prison. His case began with documents obtained by the government after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. [AP/19January2009]
South Korea President Changes Security, Police Chiefs. South Korea's President Lee Myung Bak replaced the country's security and policy chiefs before a possible Cabinet reshuffle.
Lee named Won Sei Hoon, currently the minister of Public Administration and Security, as the head of the National Intelligence Service. Kim Suk Ki, the police chief of Seoul, will helm the National Policy Agency. Won is replacing Kim Sung Ho, while Kim is taking over from Eo Cheong Soo.
The president may reshuffle his Cabinet after the Lunar New Year holidays on Jan. 26-27. Eight out of 10 South Koreans want the president to replace his economic team led by Finance Minister Kang Man Soo, according to a survey of 1,000 adults by Millward Brown Media Research.
Lee may replace Finance Minister Kang and Minister of Knowledge Economy Lee Youn Ho, Yonhap News said on Jan. 12. Financial Services Commission's Chairman Jun Kwang Woo and the defense and unification ministers may be replaced, Yonhap said.
The country's policy makers are pumping funds into the financial system, cutting taxes, boosting public spending and slashing interest rates to cushion the economy from the global recession and financial crisis. The Korean won fell 26 percent and the Kospi stock index sank 41 percent in 2008.
President Lee named former Prime Minister Han Duck Soo as the ambassador to the U.S., replacing Lee Tae Sik, the office said in the statement today. The president accepted the resignation of Han Sang Ryule, the top tax official, although his replacement is yet to be named, according to the statement. [Sim/Bloomberg/18January2009]
Section II - CONTEXT & PRECEDENCE
Army Defends Spy Case. The Army's top lawyer is disputing a critical government report that concluded faith instead of facts drove the investigation of a civilian employee wrongly suspected of spying for Israel.
The report by the Pentagon inspector general found the employee, David Tenenbaum, an Orthodox Jew, was targeted by counterintelligence agents because of his religion. The conclusion vindicated Tenenbaum, who was never charged with a crime and has spent a decade trying to clear his name.
The case demonstrates how difficult it can be to reconcile suspicion and reality within the murky counterespionage world.
Indeed, the Army still maintains it was right to go after Tenenbaum. In a 23-page response to the inspector general's findings, Army General Counsel Benedict Cohen says that report is filled with errors. It was Tenenbaum's suspicious behavior and, later, his "deceptive responses" during a lie detector test "that led the Army to conclude he may have been passing classified information to Israel," according to the response.
The investigation of Tenenbaum played out during the mid-1990s, when the shock of major spy scandals was still being felt. In 1985 - dubbed the "Year of the Spy" - more than half a dozen agents were arrested. Among them was Jonathan Pollard, a civilian intelligence analyst for the Navy who was sentenced to life in prison for selling secrets to Israel, a U.S. ally.
By 1995, the Defense Investigative Service, now the Defense Security Service, was warning that Israeli intelligence officers were trying to exploit the "strong ethnic ties to Israel present in the United States." In that environment, Tenenbaum, who regularly wore a yarmulke and would eat out only in kosher restaurants, became a bull's eye.
Missing from the picture was evidence he had done anything wrong. Like Steven Hatfill, the government scientist wrongly implicated of masterminding the 2001 anthrax attacks, and Richard Jewell, the security guard falsely accused of the bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Tenenbaum's guilt was presumed.
Even with the benefit of hindsight, the Army still draws a hard line. There was no religious discrimination, Cohen argues. With a few minor exceptions, the inquiry was done by the book. Tenenbaum is still an engineer at the Army's Tank-automotive and Armaments Command near Detroit, Cohen adds, proof that he has been treated "fairly and consistently."
Cohen's stance in the wake of the inspector general's withering appraisal has outraged Jewish groups. The Army needs to acknowledge it was wrong, they say, and restore Tenenbaum's reputation.
"I think this is an attempt at covering their tracks," said Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in New York. "Why can they ruin a person's life on no grounds?"
It is unlikely Tenenbaum will ever get an apology, however. The back and forth indicates Army officials in Washington are more concerned about blocking any future lawsuits he might be contemplating than repairing the personal damage caused by the inquiry.
"It's a legal strategy," Scott Silliman, a law professor and executive director of the Center on Law, Ethics and National Security at Duke University, said of Cohen's remarks. "To accept the inspector general's report opens them up to litigation."
Cohen's response is dated Sept. 29 but has not been made public. Cohen declined to be interviewed. Army spokesman Paul Boyce said the response "speaks for itself." [Lardner/AP/12January2009]
Admiral Takes New Tack with DNI Position. When Adm. Dennis C. Blair was in China as commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, a Chinese admiral confronted him rather aggressively on the issue of Taiwan, warning the United States not to interfere in China's campaign to gain control of the self-governing island.
Admiral Blair listened for a minute, then said: "Admiral, let me tell you a couple of things. First, I own the water out there," gesturing toward the Pacific Ocean. "And second, I own the sky over the water out there. Now, don't you think we should talk about something more constructive?"
The anecdote, confirmed by Adm. Blair, illustrates the sort of plain speaking that characterizes the man President-elect Barack Obama has nominated to be the nation's top intelligence officer. As Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the retired admiral would be responsible for setting objectives and standards for 16 disparate intelligence agencies including the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, and for coordinating their sometimes conflicting operations.
Adm. Blair, who turns 62 on Feb. 4, began his intelligence career as a young officer whose collateral duties included taking pictures of other nation's ships in ports his destroyer visited or encountered at sea. As a senior officer, he was the first associate director of military support at the CIA, with a desk in the executive offices on the seventh floor at Langley, the agency's headquarters across the Potomac from Washington.
His main connection with intelligence, however, has been as a consumer. He absorbed intelligence on the staff of the National Security Council in the White House, as director of the Joint Staff in the Pentagon, and especially as commander of the Pacific Command from 1999 to 2002. With headquarters in Honolulu, it is the world's largest military command, with 300,000 people operating from the West Coast of the U.S. to the East Coast of Africa.
After he took charge in Honolulu, Adm. Blair was a demanding taskmaster. Dissatisfied with the command's war plans, he ordered them updated to account for China's acquisition of modern Russian warplanes and ships.
"That was laborious stuff," said one officer who spoke on condition he not be named. "It took thousands of man-hours. Some of the staff had to work so hard they started calling it the 'Blair Witch Project,'" the name of a popular horror movie.
Adm. Blair's organizational duties as DNI will parallel those of the Pacific commander. In Honolulu, Adm. Blair had reporting to him the commanding officers of the Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force components in this region. In addition, his subordinates were leaders of U.S. Forces Japan, U.S. Forces Korea, U.S. forces in Alaska and the Special Operations Command. There were also five smaller units, including the Joint Intelligence Center.
In almost every case, each unit had another boss besides the Pacific commander. The admiral in charge of the Pacific Fleet, for instance, also reported to the Chief of Naval Operations, who largely controlled the fleet's budget. Contrary to outsiders' impressions, which regard the military services as having clear-cut lines of authority, much bureaucratic tugging goes on that the top commander must sort out with other bosses.
This is similar to the hydra-headed intelligence community in which 15 percent of employees work for the CIA and 85 percent for the other agencies. Adm. Blair and former California Rep. Leon Panetta, a former White House chief of staff, who is the nominee to direct the CIA, have not worked together before and have had markedly different experiences. How they will mesh, with Adm. Blair in charge and Mr. Panetta reporting to him, is an open question.
Adm. Blair's experience includes much exposure to Asia and some to Europe as a member of the National Security Council staff. He majored in Russian studies as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University, where his fellow students included future president Bill Clinton. Adm. Blair has had less exposure to the issues of the Middle East, Africa and Latin America and will necessarily rely on others in those fields.
Critics of Adm. Blair have asserted that he failed to stop the Indonesian army from committing human rights violations during East Timor's drive toward independence 10 years ago. Adm. Blair has denied this to friends and said he was consistent in following policy set in Washington.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Obama, Brooke Anderson, said, "Adm. Blair condemned the conduct of Indonesian troops in East Timor, and he conveyed that if they behaved responsibly, the U.S. was prepared to resume normal relations. If they did not, they risked further negative consequences."
After retiring from the Navy, Adm. Blair headed the Institute for Defense Analysis, a nonprofit organization that receives government funds. He was obliged to step down in 2006, however, after concerns were raised about a conflict of interest regarding his service on the board of a company working on the F-22 fighter plane. The Pentagon inspector-general later ruled that Adm. Blair had not interfered in the institute's evaluation of the F-22.
Considered by some to be an aloof workaholic, Adm. Blair has occasionally shown a playful streak. As captain of the destroyer Cochrane, with home port in Japan, he tried to water ski behind the ship after it had been at sea for many weeks. Adm. Blair has told friends he thought the crew needed a bit of entertainment.
The admiral went over the side of the ship and was fed a rope by the crew of a gig, or small boat, and got into position aft of the ship to be pulled up on the water skis. When the destroyer started to speed up, however, the sea was rough and he lost control. He went head over teakettle into the ocean, much to the glee of the sailors gathered on the fantail to see their skipper dunked. [Halloran/Washingtontimes/18January2009]
Behind Analyst's Cool Demeanor, Deep Anxiety Over American Policy. Bruce Riedel was a 28-year-old Middle East analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency on Oct. 6, 1981, the day a band of gunmen assassinated President Anwar el-Sadat of Egypt during a military parade in Cairo.
Within hours of the attack, Mr. Riedel was summoned to the agency's seventh floor to brief William J. Casey, the irascible C.I.A. director. Over the next several months, he began compiling a dossier about the attack - what he calls the "birth of the global jihad" - and about the emergence of a cerebral Egyptian physician named Ayman al-Zawahri.
He retired from the C.I.A. in 2006 after 29 years, and no longer has access to the nation's most sensitive information. But his career as an analyst is far from over. As an influential terrorism adviser on President-elect Barack Obama's transition team, he dispenses counsel to the administration-in-waiting on some of the thorniest problems it will face: as varied as the hunt for Al Qaeda's senior leaders like Mr. Zawahri, the likelihood of another attack on American soil, and how to stave off nuclear Armageddon between India and Pakistan.
Mr. Riedel is one of a chorus of terrorism experts who see the terrorist network's base in the mountains of Pakistan as America's greatest threat, and perhaps the biggest problem facing Mr. Obama's new team.
He speaks angrily about what he calls a savvy campaign by Pakistan's government under President Pervez Musharraf to fleece Washington for billions of dollars even as it allowed Al Qaeda to regroup in Pakistan's tribal lands.
At times speaking with the cool dispassion of a career intelligence analyst, Mr. Riedel has a professorial air as he sits in his living room surrounded by books about South Asia and the Middle East, and memoirs by past C.I.A. directors. His wife, whom he met at the C.I.A., continues to work at the agency as a Middle East analyst.
His new book, "The Search for Al Qaeda," jabs at the Bush administration for diverting troops and resources from Afghanistan to Iraq, and for a byzantine intelligence apparatus that "lacks a sheriff to lead the posse" in the hunt for Qaeda operatives.
He believes that the terrorist network is hoping the United States keeps troops in Afghanistan and Iraq for the long haul.
"In its view, the 'bleeding wars' offer the best opportunity to defeat the United States," he writes. "It is much easier to kill the enemy in Mesopotamia and Afghanistan's traps."
And yet Al Qaeda is not invulnerable: "It lacks a cohesive vision of the future and a workable plan for government. It has often overplayed its hand and created strong blowback."
Mr. Riedel struggles at times to lay out a path for the president-elect on Pakistan - the foreign policy headache he calls "the hardest part of this whole thing" - that is vastly different from the course the Bush administration has charted in recent months.
For example, he believes that the C.I.A.'s campaign of airstrikes using remotely controlled Predator aircraft should continue if there is solid evidence about the whereabouts of militant leaders inside Pakistan.
Washington must approach Pakistan with a "subtle and deft touch," he said, and strengthen the civilian government of President Asif Ali Zardari, the husband of Benazir Bhutto, the slain former prime minister, to act as a counterweight to Pakistan's military and intelligence apparatus, which still dominates Pakistan's political life.
Winning over the generals, Mr. Riedel said, could require a tough-love approach: overhauling military aid to Pakistan and cutting sales of the big-ticket weapons the country has used to keep pace with its archrival, India. Instead, he argues, the United States should be providing equipment like helicopters and night-vision goggles to help Pakistan's military navigate the mountain passes where militants have established their base.
It was Washington's too cozy relationship with Mr. Musharraf's military government, he argues, that fueled the intense hatred for the United States in Pakistan. He cites polls that more Pakistanis blame the United States than either India or Al Qaeda for the recent surge of violence in the country.
"Anytime in Pakistan where more people blame you than India for the country's problems, you are in deep, deep trouble," he said
Born in Queens, Mr. Riedel was just a year old when his father, a political adviser at the United Nations, moved his family to Jerusalem and later to Beirut, Lebanon. As fighting spread throughout Beirut during the Lebanese civil war in 1958, he was forced to flee with his mother and brother and relocate for two months to Naples, Italy.
After the travels of his youth, he decided to study Middle East history as an undergraduate at Brown University, and earned a master's at Harvard in medieval Islamic history.
As a career analyst, he spent most of his C.I.A. years on the agency's sprawling campus in Langley, Va., but he occasionally got a taste of a clandestine officer's life during trips abroad. On a trip to Beirut in 1983, 25 years after he had evacuated the city as a boy with his family, he found that many things there had not changed.
Jumping off a helicopter at the American Embassy, an official asked him if he wanted a handgun or a shotgun. "I wanted the next flight out, that's what I wanted," he recalls with a laugh.
He remained in the C.I.A.'s service his entire career but did a tour of duty at the Pentagon and worked as a senior adviser at the National Security Council under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush. On Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Riedel was sitting next to Condoleezza Rice, then the president's national security adviser, at a staff meeting when she learned that planes had hit the World Trade Center.
Despite his ties to President-elect Obama - he has advised the campaign since 2007 - he says he has no desire to return to the grind of government service. He is currently researching a book on Israel's nuclear doctrine.
Some of his former C.I.A. colleagues describe him as unflappable and usually eager to champion a dissenting analytical view. This did not always make him a popular person at the spy agency - a place often criticized for "groupthink."
"There are a lot of people at C.I.A. who were more wedded to traditional ways of thinking who butted heads with Bruce, and he certainly has his share of people there who don't care much for him," said Kenneth Pollack, who worked with Mr. Riedel both at the N.S.C. and the C.I.A. and is now his colleague at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.
For instance, in the 1970s as the United States continued to back the shah of Iran, Mr. Riedel was among a small group of analysts to predict the fall of the shah's government and the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini.
Today, however, he is in lockstep with his former C.I.A. colleagues on at least one matter: the necessity for Pakistan's pre-eminent spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, to sever its longstanding ties to militants operating in Pakistan's tribal areas. These are ties the Bush administration never found a way to break, as the ISI has used the militants as a proxy force there for decades.
And they will not be broken, Mr. Riedel said, until Pakistan's generals and spy agencies acknowledge what Pakistan's president learned only through heartbreak - that the struggle against Al Qaeda and its ilk is "their war" as much as it is America's.
"Zardari knows it's his war, because he buried his wife," he said. "That tragedy is also an opportunity." [Mazzetti/NewYorktimes/26December2008]
Section III - COMMENTARY
Liability Insurance for Interrogators? by Jayne Lyn Stahl. If leading Democratic senators have their way, agents and officials with the Central Intelligence Agency will be immunized against prosecution for any criminal activity arising from taking commands, and/or employing "alternative methods" of interrogation, under George W. Bush, and under future presidents
Senator Dianne Feinstein, newly appointed head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, (sic), told the Associated Press that the CIA was just following orders from the National Security Council, and the executive branch, hence they should not be held legally liable for their actions.
What's more, on Sunday morning President-elect Obama told ABC News that it is "unlikely" there will be criminal charges filed against national security officials who were involved in harsh interrogation practices, or wiretapping. This will be in keeping with what Obama insists will be his administration's policy of "looking forward as opposed to backwards," a kind of Zeno's Paradox.
Obama also now thinks that the prospect of shutting down among the most notorious, despised, and universally condemned detention centers, Gitmo, within the first 100 days of his tenure, will be "a challenge." An even greater challenge in the coming months and years will be explaining to the American people how effective the holding center for "unlawful enemy combatants," in Cuba, has really been in keeping us, and the rest of the world, safe unless, of course, you don't include what's going on now in Gaza as part of what is often called the war on terror. Yet an even greater challenge for the next administration may be to figure out who the real terrorists are.
Since the days of George H.W. Bush, one thing has become crystal clear - no ideology can hope to survive without windshield wipers.
When asked if he has any plans for the equivalent of a 9/11 Commission to look into any criminal activity, or violation of constitutional integrity, by the Bush administration, the President-elect indicated that he wants the focus to be on keeping America safe instead, and not have intelligence agents be distracted by "lawyering." Who can argue that there's too much lawyering, in America, as it is, yet not enough adherence to laws, at least not enough law enforcement when it comes to our lawmakers and elected officials.
Few would question Obama's assertion that closing Gitmo within a few months isn't plausible. Senator Feinstein has called for closing the detention center in Cuba in a year. Does the President-elect think that a year is a reasonable timeframe? Does he have a concrete plan in place for closing not just Gitmo, but other detainee holding centers in Afghanistan and Iraq that are holding thousands, not hundreds? We think so, and are ready for him to implement it.
Notably, Obama wasn't the only one making the Sunday morning T.V. talk circuit. President Bush was, too, and the outgoing president joined the vice president in defending waterboarding holding to the party line that the information obtained through this, and other traditionally illegal means, helped to save American lives. The president added: "Look, I understand why people can get carried away on this issue, but generally they don't know the facts."
The candidate who has been dubbed "no drama Obama" has gone on record saying he considers waterboarding torture, and that there will be zero tolerance for torture in an Obama administration. Yet, on the same day, and in a separate interview, his predecessor, and the 43rd president, George W. Bush expressed confidence that 44 "understands the nature of the world and understands the need to protect America." We find the fact that Bush would say this about Obama, or anyone else elected to be our next head of state, frankly scary.
Well, we don't profess to have all "the facts," but about a year ago, the CIA said it would assume the full cost of providing "legal liability insurance" for employees of the agency, and indicated that an estimated two-thirds of its work force would be eligible for legal cover from prosecution.
So, a government that granted immunity to telecoms who violated consumer privacy laws by eavesdropping on the personal conversations of millions of their customers now wants to provide insurance that will immunize their agents from having to face future criminal charges if they find themselves breaking constitutional prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment, and/or international law.
Senator Feinstein has said that the White House is responsible for giving the directives as to what kinds of interrogation methods should be used just as the approval for ordering the egregious gunning down of innocent Iraqi civilians in Haditha, and elsewhere, came from the top, so those who followed commands should be held harmless. [Stahl/AtlanticFreePress/12January2009]
The One That Got Away: OBL and the End of the Bush Years, by James Robbins. [James S. Robbins is senior fellow in national-security affairs at the American Foreign Policy Council, and author of Last in Their Class: Custer, Pickett and the Goats of West Point.] In assessments of the Bush presidency, the failure to bring Osama bin Laden to justice should be noted as a significant disappointment. On the bright side, al-Qaeda has been prevented from mounting any significant attacks on the U.S. homeland. In that respect the most important objective of the antiterrorism strategy has been met. But Bush leaves office with a lingering sense of incompleteness, having not achieved the one thing that would have enabled him to use the word "victory" in the War on Terror without caveat.
What would most of the last eight years have been like without bin Laden? He defined the Bush years more than any individual except the president himself. His actions enabled sweeping use of presidential war powers, and brought about significant government reorganizations in the realms of defense, intelligence, and homeland security. It is unlikely that most of these changes will be undone by Bush's successor, with a few high-profile exceptions.
But while the United States was busy executing an unprecedented and largely successful war on global terror networks, it could not manage to erase the most visible manifestation of terrorist violence. There is an awful symmetry of the failure to apprehend bin Laden with the glacially slow rebuilding effort on the site of the former World Trade Center towers. In the years after 9/11 the U.S. experienced the greatest building boom in its history, and could not complete a fitting structure on some of the most valuable real estate in the world. The Freedom Tower could have been a mark of our pride and resilience in the face of adversity, and probably will be someday, but the ribbon cutting will fall to President Obama or his successor if the 2013 estimated completion date holds.
Almost exactly four years ago I visited this subject in an article titled " No Substitute for Victory." I still believe it, but barring the unexpected it will not be Bush who enjoys the laurels, if there are any. In that article I noted the way that the failure to capture or kill bin Laden was being rationalized. Former CIA number-three man A. B. "Buzzy" Krongard believed if bin Laden were removed from the picture a destabilized al-Qaeda would lash out at us - as though the terrorists weren't trying their best to do so every single day already. Steve Simon of the RAND Corporation, head of the Transnational Threat Office of the National Security Council under Bill Clinton, reasoned that it would be best not to take down bin Laden because "killed, he will be a martyr, maybe even more powerful." Why a living bin Laden, the man who is responsible for the deaths of almost 3,000 Americans and others on a single day, is a less powerful, less potent symbol than a dead bin Laden is anybody's guess. Let's not overthink this. Which looks more powerful symbolically - the mightiest country in the world that cannot find a single person, or the terrorist mastermind who has evaded justice for over seven years? Who gets the opportunity to plot his own dramatic comeback - the live terrorist or the dead one?
But the Bush administration consistently downplayed the importance of taking out bin Laden. Now Barack Obama is using almost identical language to describe his objectives in the war against al-Qaeda. "Bin Laden and al-Qaeda are our number one threat when it comes to American security," he said. And containing their activities is good enough. Whether bin Laden "is technically alive or not" is not so important, though Obama said his "preference obviously would be to capture or kill him." This position is perfect bin Laden triangulation. There is no way to say that Obama will have failed if bin Laden remains "technically alive," yet he still gets credit if Osama winds up technically dead.
It is of course possible that bin Laden is dead already. The recent tapes could be a mix of old material with a bin Laden imitator supplying commentary on recent events. A strangely choppy video released in September 2007 featured someone who did not quite resemble bin Laden, or perhaps it was him with a false beard. Bin Laden did not make an appearance for the most recent 9/11 anniversary, or for the most recent election. Meanwhile his No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, shows up frequently on videos and on tape. In his latest, Zawahiri praises "our fighting sheikh Osama bin Laden (may Allah protect him)." Sure, he could be doing that just to make us think bin Laden is alive, to deny us the satisfaction, but I doubt it.
Bin Laden may be lying lower than usual because of the long-overdue stepped-up use of armed drones over Pakistan. Also, no one has attempted publicly to claim leadership of his movement, which would surely happen if he were gone. Extremist groups abhor a vacuum, and the leadership of al-Qaeda is a plum position. There were some interesting signals that such a struggle started in the fall of 2002, but order was quickly restored. This was also when Iran began to provide protective custody (they call it house arrest) to numerous al-Qaeda leaders. There is tremendous disagreement in the U.S. intelligence community over what Iran's role in all this has been, and it is something we will probably have to wait a long time to learn.
Maybe Osama will be the Nana Sahib of the 21st century, a figure whose fate remains a mystery, who will be sighted periodically but never conclusively, whose significance will fade as larger issues take the world stage, until the march of time forces the conclusion that he has expired, unheralded, in some dark corner of his underworld. A pathetic whimper for the man who entered our lives with a bang. There is justice in that, of a sort. But not the type that satisfies, not with the finality, the certainty that we should be able to expect.
Meanwhile Osama bin Laden is left with if not the last laugh then at least one of the best. He outlasted President Bush. Our officialdom dismisses this as insignificant. Bin Laden may live, they reason, but he is marginalized, ineffective, and unable to show his face. Yet bin Laden remains a source of legitimacy, strength, and spirit for those who follow him, or would aspire to be like him. He is if nothing else the one who got away with mass murder. This fact should be hateful to us. His demise should not be a "preference" of our leaders but a hard and unyielding objective. It is the nature of a war on terrorism that there is no reasonable way to mark its end, no surrender document, no capital to occupy. But since we can bring bin Laden to justice, we must. It will not end terrorism, it will not make us safe. But it will satisfy our need for completeness, for closure. Taking down bin Laden will, if only for a moment, quicken the pulse, lighten the step, and moisten the eyes of every American. Assuming we can get the job done. [Robbins/NationalReview/18January2009]
Section IV - Letters to the Editors
Panetta a bad choice? Not so! Says rebuttal to Ralph Peters' Opinion Article, by Lieutenant Bruce C. Martin. The past week's news articles, television news and talk shows have had continuous discussion of one principal headline: Leon Panetta Picked to Head the Central Intelligence Agency. This is written in response to Ralph Peters' NY Post opinion article contained in last week's AFIO WINs.
I (and I am sure Mr. Panetta as well) have listened to and read the numerous comments from various analysts and congressional leaders about this pending appointment, focusing primarily on his lack of experience in the field of espionage. President-Elect Obama provided an explanation for appointing Mr. Panetta to this significant government post, noting that he is a highly ethical and patriotic American. (While I selfishly wish that Mr. Panetta would remain with us here in Monterey County, California, I nevertheless recognize that his appointment as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency is a significant step in strengthening our nation.)
Reflecting on the past eight years, many Americans feel that there has been a great disconnect between the Bush Administration and the world's problems. The voters in the November 2008 election made it clear that they believed that the Bush Administration's tactics have been wrong, and that we have paid (and will continue to pay) a very severe price domestically for flawed public policy decisions, particularly as it relates to the nation's economy.
Although President-Elect Obama uttered his clear intent to implement change during the campaign, it is clear that for him to succeed, he will have to govern from a centrist position. He was probably sincere in his expressions of wanting strategic changes, but I believe that he learned "eye-opening" lessons during his recent security briefings and therefore toned down his earlier campaign rhetoric.
I also note with interest that much of President-Elect Obama's choices for his administration include many players from the Clinton cabinet, to include Mr. Panetta. I am sure that as the Director of Central Intelligence, Mr. Panetta's direct access will assist him by providing timely intelligence information, within the context of the world's problems.
For instance, in reports released during the past few years, officials at the CIA believe that struggles to relieve world food and water shortages, as well as conflicts over territory, economic or resource disagreements, or those involving the sharing of power will be root causes for war in the future, leading to great worldwide instability. If left unchecked, such wars, even those which are considered "regional" in nature, could escalate and cause extreme disruption and destabilization in world affairs to the point of, as was proven in World War I, a massive escalation might follow.
As the world's population grows to a projected 12 billion in a few generations, no doubt wars will be fought over those basic needs. Wars will also occur wherever there is a lack of opportunity to participate in economic exchange agreements such as NAFTA, or a need to respond to uncontrolled migrations from one country to another, or to trans-national terrorist actions. The United States of America will play a significant role in promoting equitable distribution of scarce resources, as well as providing security, stability, and freedom around the world, while ensuring protection of the citizens of the United States and its borders from invasion.
Given the presence of these overwhelming threats to security, there will always be a need for the United States to maintain a superior intelligence gathering structure. It will need to maintain the capacity to quickly analyze the billion pieces of information that are collected every year and then project its significant land, naval, air, and space assets to effectively deal with and counter any threat. A strong and capably led CIA will be a major component of providing that security for this nation.
Yet currently, we are lacking in reliable American citizens with required decades of experience in problem areas such as Iran and Pakistan, which has been a completely destabilized country since the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. There is evidence of a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan, and numerous reports have been filed around the world indicating that Al Qaeda is getting stronger and has proven itself immediately capable of obtaining cash contributions from around the world.
The world has been staring expectantly at the crisis in the Gaza Strip, while Russia has worked to punish Georgia and the Ukraine over their temerity in seeking admission into NATO. Of course China's economic, political and military power has grown extensively over the past two decades, so much so that our own economic recovery will be significantly dependent on their financial backing.
Added to these worldwide problems are the omnipresent problems of threats of terrorist cells ready to strike our nation with a "dirty nuclear bomb," cyber terrorists, enemy combatants being held at Guantanamo Bay, criticism of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and a lack of trust amongst a large segment of American citizens over intelligence failures. During a time when we should have a robust Central Intelligence Agency, we instead have a situation where CIA Operations Section Officers have determined the need to purchase their own liability insurance to protect them from future investigations into "who did what to whom" while pursuing terrorist suspects. Some intelligence officers have in fact already been indicted following such investigations. And as a final insult, in cases where Inspector Generals have conducted internal investigations, CIA case officers are not provided with legal representation.
And, although not the only American President to utilize private companies to augment government intelligence gathering efforts, one significant policy aspect of George W. Bush's Administration was to outsource intelligence assignments. In the past year there was an estimated $50 billion paid to private intelligence companies such as Booz/Hamilton, CACI, etc., and private company intelligence officers are known to have interrogated Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib Prison. In the past few years, between 30,000-40,000 private contractors were utilized as follows:
- 27% involved in collection and operations
- 19% involved in analytic and reports
- 22% involved in information technicians
- 19% involved in support/management/administration
This is my prediction of the Situation Report Mr. Panetta will receive from his staff at the CIA if he is confirmed by the United States Senate. He will be asked to manage and lead the agency through this minefield of problems and develop it and its employees into a viable intelligence-collecting agency. Then, when necessary, to be prompt in making action decisions on that intelligence information or to take the immediate responsibility to share with the "doers" (military, FBI, DHS, civilian first responders, etc.) with the intelligence information they will need to do their jobs and to protect our citizens and this nation's critical infrastructure.
Here are my policy suggestions for Mr. Panetta (this is the segment I have been looking forward to, where the student has the opportunity to guide the teacher).
FIRST: To the Citizens of the United States, RELAX FOLKS! Leon Panetta will serve all of us well.
SECOND: Leon Panetta must work to guide the Central Intelligence Agency towards the future. This can be accomplished by encouraging young people to enter government service (something Leon does through his Public Policy Institute) and demonstrate to them that intelligence studies is an excellent academic discipline and career choice. At the same time, he should focus his energy on enhancing the duties of every employee at the CIA in order to make sure that they not only understand their own discipline, but all others to make a more efficient work force within the intelligence community. Such citizens/employees will ultimately become a major asset to the United States.
THIRD: Provide President Obama with an honest intelligence assessment during every briefing. Allow the CIA's Intelligence Analysts to provide focus on what the collectors have gathered, and point out the most significant problems in as clear and unambiguous language as possible to allow the president to make informed policy decisions.
FOURTH: Build quality relationships with all domestic intelligence agencies, and work to resolve conflicts/disagreements within government agencies (i.e. between CIA and the Department of State).
FIFTH: Reduce the outsourcing of intelligence functions and instead place major focus on continuous recruitment and the ongoing professional training at CIA and other intelligence agencies in the United States.
SIXTH: When confronted with a definite security threat, the premium should be placed on filling in any information gap(s) and then determine the appropriate response based on:
- What do we know about the threat?
- What do we know about the involved domain?
To maintain the security necessary to protect this nation, the CIA must maintain its intelligence acquisition capabilities and strive for excellence in that arena. As a man of great integrity, insight, wisdom and leadership capabilities, Leon Panetta is one who will not permit crisis to drive public policy. He will do what is right for the security of this nation, while also respecting the civil liberties of its citizens. In that regard, he is an excellent choice for our next Director of Central Intelligence.
Section V - READINGS, NOTICES, AND COMING EVENTS
Suggested Reading: Books to Guide the President-Elect in the Wars of the 21st Century, by Lt. Col. (Ret.) Terrence J. Daly. [Col. Daly, who retired from the Reserve, is a counterinsurgency expert and retired government official with experience in national security and foreign policy. He has written extensively on counterinsurgency and related subjects, and served as an adviser to counterinsurgency programs in Vietnam.] President-elect Barack Obama is already getting outstanding guidance on what he should do, so I will give him a break. Rather than tell him what he should do, I will suggest some books that he should read to guide him and then trust him to ask the questions to which he can develop the right answers.
These books would also make useful reading for Army leaders, strategists and anyone who wants to prepare for the wars ahead. My suggestions are based on the simple fact that that the U.S. must never again be victim to the strategic illiteracy and ignorance at the highest levels that has characterized recent administrations. This understanding of strategic issues must start at the top; the president himself must have a basic knowledge of concepts and vocabulary so at a minimum he can distinguish between those whose advice is useful to his office and those whose ideas do not merit intelligent consideration.
I have five books that I consider basic to understanding the wars of the 21st century. One hopes the president-elect will discuss them with those he nominates to policy-level positions in the national security field. Just knowing that the president has read them will give those considered for appointments in an Obama administration a standard to which they can measure themselves and show them the level of expertise they must bring to their new jobs.
Here are the books I suggest, in the general order in which they should be read:
Anything master strategist Professor Colin S. Gray has written is worthwhile, but in Fighting Talk: Forty Maxims on War, Peace and Strategy, Gray provides a brilliant introduction to and summation of Sun Tzu, Thucydides, Machiavelli and Carl von Clausewitz in one short, readable volume.
T.X. Hammes, The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century. This is a cogent introduction to how war has changed and is changing.
Few, even in the senior military ranks, understand how the ground has shifted beneath us and how unsuited most 20th-century military concepts and institutions are for the 21st century. H.R. McMaster's new essay, Learning from Contemporary Conflicts to Prepare for Future War, published by the Foreign Policy Research Institute in the fall 2008 issue of Orbis, makes interesting reading in conjunction with The Sling and the Stone.
Rupert Smith, The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World. Smith introduces the 21st-century concept of war amongst the people in which states confront nonstate groups instead of conventional armies fighting other conventional armies. Smith's book is especially timely given Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip, which demonstrate overconfidence in the utility of kinetic force and failure even to try to learn war amongst the people.
David Galula, Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice. Written by a French army lieutenant colonel in 1964, this remains the classic delineation of how to wage and win unconventional warfare. The new counterinsurgency field manual FM 3-24, the principles of which Gen. David Petraeus then used to succeed in Iraq, is pure Galula. I believe that understanding classic counterinsurgency will be key to dealing with the ungoverned and weakly governed parts of the world from which attacks on the U.S. and the developed world will be generated, and like it or not, our military will be used extensively.
Philip Bobbitt, Terror and Consent: The Wars for the Twenty-First Century. Bobbitt's magisterial work pulls it all together: He treats exhaustively the political, military, legal and ethical factors that must enable us to succeed against the violence we as a nation and society will be forced to confront in the 21st century.
All are current works available through booksellers. For the welfare of the country, they will be worth many times over any money and time the president-elect invests. [Daly/ArmyTimes/19January2009]
Rosenberg May Have Enlisted Two Spies. Julius Rosenberg, who recruited his brother-in-law David Greenglass to steal atomic secrets, also enlisted a second spy to penetrate the Manhattan Project, the program that developed the atomic bomb during World War II, according to a new book by authorities on Soviet espionage.
The authors conclude that the spy nicknamed in decoded Soviet cables as Fogel or Persian was not the scientists Robert Oppenheimer or Philip Morrison, as some investigators have speculated, but Rosenberg's recruit, Russell W. McNutt, a relatively obscure engineer who helped build the uranium processing plant in Oak Ridge, Tenn., that was part of the Manhattan Project.
Mr. McNutt, a graduate of Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and a former assistant Manhattan borough engineer, died a year ago at 93. Though he had been identified as a Communist sympathizer, earlier American counterintelligence did not identify him as a member of the Rosenberg spy ring.
The book, "Spies: The Rise and Fall of the K.G.B. in America," is by John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr and Alexander Vassiliev, a former Soviet espionage agent.
Mr. McNutt, who became an engineer for Gulf Oil, "turned out to have less commitment and value than originally believed," the authors wrote. But Mr. Haynes added in an interview: "This was an atomic spy who got away with it while his protectors, the Rosenbergs, went to their death."
Mr. McNutt's widow declined to comment, but his eldest daughter said in an interview that she doubted her father was a spy.
In addition to asserting that Julius Rosenberg played a greater role in atomic espionage than was believed, the book suggests that his wife, Ethel, was complicit and affirms previous assessments that Alger Hiss was a spy and that Oppenheimer was not.
It concludes that Perseus, the code name for a Soviet agent who has never been identified, was in fact a composite fabricated to confuse the Americans and that no such individual existed.
The book, to be published this spring by Yale University Press, is based on the detailed notes of Mr. Vassiliev, who had some access to Soviet espionage files. Those files, copied by Mr. Vassiliev into notebooks, represent a fraction of the K.G.B. and military intelligence records that still remain secret.
The Rosenbergs were executed in 1953, but questions linger about the extent of Ethel Rosenberg's guilt, whether the death penalty was warranted and the value of the secrets the ring passed along. The couple was convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage, which meant the government needed to prove only that they intended and tried to steal secrets for a foreign power.
In 2008, the only surviving defendant, Morton Sobell, acknowledged that he was a Soviet spy and implicated Julius Rosenberg in industrial and military, but not atomic, espionage.
Julius Rosenberg's code name was Liberal. That his wife apparently was not given a covert identity, Mr. Haynes said, was not surprising, because she was "not active in her own right, but just as an aide to Julius," he said.
Mr. Haynes said she played a "vital" role in recruiting her brother, Mr. Greenglass. He acknowledged that Mr. Vassiliev's notebooks contain no references to Ethel Rosenberg's typing her brother's notes - the crucial trial evidence against her - but said "this is a lack of evidence, not negative evidence, simply a lack of corroboration."
"Spies" further implicates Mr. Greenglass, indicating not only that he provided the Soviets with a sketch of the fuse for the atomic bomb, but also that he gave them a prototype.
"The notebooks show that Greenglass delivered more and richer information about Los Alamos than he later admitted," Mr. Haynes said.
Still, the Soviets complained that Mr. Greenglass's information "was unqualified and far from polished," for which agents blamed, in part, his "insufficient qualifications" - as a machinist, rather than a scientist or engineer. The authors concluded, though, that he provided "an impressive list of materials from an Army sergeant with only limited technical education."
Mr. Greenglass, sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment, was released in 1960. Through his lawyer, he declined to comment on the latest allegations.
As for Hiss, a government official convicted of perjury in 1950 for denying that he gave secret State Department documents to a confessed former Communist spy, Whittaker Chambers, the book says K.G.B. documents "unequivocally identify Hiss as a long-term espionage source" for the Soviet military intelligence agency. He died in 1996.
Of Oppenheimer, the authors write: "For more than half a century, Oppenheimer has been denounced as the most damaging Soviet spy inside the Manhattan Project or defended as an honorable man undone by false and politically motivated charges. K.G.B. documents demonstrate that he was not a spy, although not for lack of K.G.B. effort."
"Spies" also recounts an embarrassing confluence of secrecy and the paranoia-driven rapid turnover of K.G.B. agents in New York. A hidden stronghold for weapons and explosives was built into the Soviet Consulate on East 61st Street in Manhattan, but when the lease was expiring in 1947, the Soviets were unable to find the hiding place. [NewYorkTimes/18January2009]
AFIO 2009 AUCTION SEEKS DONATIONS:Didn't get what you liked for Christmas, donate it to the AFIO 2009 auction and turn it into a tax-deductible gift....buy something at the auction you like. A variety of intelligence-related, but also unrelated items have done well at the annual AFIO online Auction. This is a good time to clear out items you might not want that others might find of use, and to find appealing new gifts for yourself. We accept books, paintings, prints, electronic devices [working ones only], pen sets, mugs, rare collectibles, unusual items, historic documents and other ephemera, watches and jewelry, jackets, scarves, sweaters and other imprinted clothing items, and too many other possibilities to list. To explore possible donations, or to send off your items immediately, call Gary at 240 344-6556, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail items to him at: AFIO, 6723 Whittier St Ste 200, McLean, VA 22101. Always indicate that the items you are sending are to be placed up at auction on your behalf. All donations to AFIO are final and no items that do not sell can be returned. We thank you now for your generosity!
Sign online petition to rename Buffalo, NY Courthouse to honor OSS founder Gen. William J. Donovan. Please add your support to naming the new federal courthouse currently under construction in Buffalo in honor of Major General William Donovan, one of America's greatest heroes.
With the demise of the Donovan State Office Building, there is no memorial to General Donovan in his hometown. This is a unique opportunity to pay tribute to him and to preserve his memory for future generations.
General Donovan dedicated his life to serving and protecting the United States of America. The list of his accomplishments is unparalleled in our nation's history. General Donovan received the Medal of Honor in World War I and is the only American to receive our nation's four highest military honors.
Naming the new federal courthouse in his honor is particularly appropriate given his service to the U.S. Department of Justice. He served as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York, as an Assistant U.S. Attorney General, and as a special assistant to the chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal.
General Donovan founded and led the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), America'ss first organized effort to create a strategic intelligence service and the predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. Special Forces. Following World War II, he served as Ambassador to Thailand.
Upon receiving the William J. Donovan Award in 1966, Admiral Louis Mountbatten said that he doubted "whether any one person contributed more the ultimate victory of the Allies than Bill Donovan." Upon learning of General Donovan's death in 1959, President Eisenhower said: "We have lost the last hero."
Naming the new courthouse in his honor is a fitting and lasting tribute to one of America's and Buffalo's greatest patriots
This is a public link so do not give out contact information you would not want out on the internet. This petition is not arranged or sponsored by AFIO.
The link to sign the petition is here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/donovancourthouse/
EVENTS IN COMING TWO MONTHS....
22 January 2009, 12:30-2:00 p.m. - Los Angeles, CA - AFIO Los Angeles Chapter meeting. The AFIO L.A. chapter event features Mark Gorwitz a private researcher with expertise in the nuclear
proliferation area on the topic of Iran's nuclear program at the LMU campus. Please RSVP via email by January 16, 2009 AFIO_LA@yahoo.com
Sunday, 1 February 2009, 11:30 - 1:30 - Highland Heights, OH - AFIO Northern Ohio Chapter hosts a brunch featuring Clare Lopez, senior expert on Middle East issues, on "Where are the Storm Petrels? How Iranian Intelligence Outwits U.S. Intelligence." Event is at Wellington's Restaurant, 777 Alpha Dr, Highland Heights, OH 44143. I-271 at Wilson Mills Rd. Dr. Lopez served 20 years as a senior Operations Officer at CIA, and has written numerous books. A polyglot, and a polymath, she is proficient in Spanish, Blugarian, French, German, Russian, and is currently learning Farsi. She lectures and writes on the Middle East, Iran, Arab and Islamic culture, WMD, and transnational terrorism issues. And is a superb speaker, as well. Judge for yourself and learn more about the looming issues in this region, and here at home, by RSVPing to Veronica Flint, email@example.com
7 February 2009, 11:30 am - Melbourne Beach, FL - AFIO Florida Satellite Chapter meeting features Capt Giles R. Norrington. Norrington, USN (Ret) was a former POW at the Hanoi Hilton. He was a Navy Pilot, shot down over North Vietnam in his RA-5C Aircraft on his 22nd mission, on 5 May 1968. He was a POW until 14 March 1973 and spent time in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. His topic - highly appropriate for these times as well, is "Getting Through the Tough Times." To attend this important event, Donnacz12@aol.com or call her at 321-722-3010.
Wednesday, 18 February 2009, 6:00 p.m. - Nellis AFB, NV - The AFIO Las Vegas Chapter Meeting
features "The Real History of the Civil Air Transport / Air America"
The featured speaker for the evening will be Mr. L. Michael Kandt,
General Secretary Air America Association. Mr. Kandt will speak on the
"The Real History and Accomplishments of the Civil Air Transport/Air
America" Mr. Kandt will have on display two prints of original oil
paintings that represent events during operations in Laos.
Place: The Officers' Club at Nellis Air Force Base.
Dinner: The Officers' Club has an excellent, informal dinner venue along with a selection of snacks. You are welcome to arrive early and join us in the "Check Six" bar area. Water will be provided during the meeting, but you may also purchase beverages and food at the bar and bring them to the meeting. Once again, please feel free to bring your spouse and/or guest(s) to dinner as well as our meeting.
For further information or to register email Eppley, Christine J. [firstname.lastname@example.org] or call her at 702-295-0073
19 February 2009 – San Francisco, CA – The AFIO Jim Quesada Chapter hosts Dave Townsend, of Computer Forensics. Mr. Townsend is a recognized authority on computer forensics and cyber crime investigations, with more than 20 years of police & detective experience, including many high profile assignments with the Silicon Valley High Tech Crimes Task Force and the FBI REACT Task Force. His presentation will cover the growing threat of cyber-terrorism, including procedures used by persons attacking computer systems, data or infrastructure, criminal use of internet and digital communications and protection techniques used by law enforcement. RSVP required. The meeting will be held at United Irish Cultural Center, 2700 45th Avenue, San Francisco (between Sloat and Wawona). 11:30 AM no host cocktails; noon - luncheon. $25 member rate with advance reservation and payment; $35 non-member. E-mail RSVP to Mariko Kawaguchi (please indicate meat or fish) no later than 5PM 2/10/09: email@example.com or mail check made out to "AFIO" to: Mariko Kawaguchi, P.O. Box 117578 Burlingame, CA 94011. (650) 622-9840 X608
-21 February 2009 - Baltimore, MD - Ethics in the Intelligence
Community 2009 - The 4th Annual Conference of the International
Intelligence Ethics Association
List of topics: • The Foundations of Ethics in Intelligence; • The Ethics of Intelligence Assassinations: The Israeli Experience; • The Application of Stakeholder Analysis to Covert Action; • Legitimizing Intelligence Ethics: A Comparison to Ethics in Business; • Surreptitious Physical Searches: An Ethics of Privacy; • Many Spheres of Harm: What's Wrong with Intelligence Collection; • The Ethical Implications of the Downing Street Memos; • The Role of Ethics Reform in Turkey's Bid to Join the EU; • Evolution of British Intelligence & Counter-Terrorism: Northern Ireland, 1969 - 1998.; Location: The Johns Hopkins University at Mt. Washington Conference Center Baltimore, Maryland.
Register now and save $50.00. This year, on-line registration is available and encouraged by all attendees. You can reserve your space at the conference and get a hotel room at the same time!
Registration Fees: Individual - Institution - $450; Individual - $375; Student - $250
For more information about registration fees, including fees for early and late registration, go to http://intelligence-ethics.org/conference/09/index.html.
Registration fees include continental breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Friday, and continental breakfast and lunch on Saturday.
Lodging: The Mt. Washington Conference Center has 48 guestrooms for conference attendees. Single rooms with a queen-size bed and double rooms with two double beds are available.
The room rate is $150 per night. If you have any questions, please feel free to contract them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
26 February 2009, Noon to 1 pm - Washington, DC - The Spy Within: Larry Chin and China’s Penetration of the CIA
In October 1982, the FBI received chilling information from the CIA—the Agency had learned China was running a spy inside US intelligence, but the spy’s identity, where he worked and for how long, and what information he was passing was unknown. Over the next three years, investigators worked frantically to identify the mole, to discover the secrets he’d betrayed and the agents he’d endangered, and to collect the evidence to prosecute him for his betrayal. The investigation ultimately revealed that for more than thirty years, Larry Chin, the CIA’s leading Chinese linguist, had been a top Chinese penetration of the Agency. In the first book to explore Chin’s betrayal, Tod Hoffman uses exclusive interviews, previously unreleased documents, and his own practical expertise as a former spy-catcher for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to spin a captivating cat-and-mouse tale. Join Hoffman as he discusses the untold story of one of America’s biggest spy cases.
International Spy Museum, 800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
TICKETS: No registration required. Free.
4 March 2009, 6:30 p.m. - Washington, DC - Josephine Baker: Singer, Dancer, Spy - A discussion at Spy Museum
“I am ready to give the Parisians my life.”—Josephine Baker
From Broadway to the Rue Fontaine, the extraordinary Josephine Baker was the toast of the international nightclub circuit. Born in the United States, the talented African American singer-dancer moved to France to escape racism in America and became an enormous star. She triumphed at the Folies Bergère and enjoyed the acclaim of European society. Her affection for France was so great that when World War II broke out, she volunteered to spy for her adopted country. Her café society fame enabled her to rub shoulders with those in the know, from high-ranking Japanese officials to Italian bureaucrats, and report back what she heard. She heroically stayed in France after the invasion working closely with the French Resistance to undermine the Nazi occupation. Her espionage exploits are just one chapter in Baker’s extraordinary life. Join Jonna Mendez, former CIA chief of disguise, as she reveals Baker’s intelligence work and places it in the context of her exciting and celebrated life.
International Spy Museum, 800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
TICKETS: $15; Advance Registration required. Tickets are non-refundable and do not include admission to the International Spy Museum. To register, call 202.393.7798; order online at www.spymuseum.org; or purchase tickets in person at the International Spy Museum.
5 - 6 March 2009 - Houston, TX - "Terrorism, Crime & Business" Symposium - Understanding the Fundamental Legal and Security Liability Issues for
American Business. A conference sponsored by St. Mary's University.,
School of Law, Center for Terrorism Law. Four
Main Symposium Themes: • An overview of the aims and objectives of the
global terror threat posed by al-Qa’eda-styled terror groups, sub-State
terror groups, and “lone-wolf” terrorists.
• An analysis of the specific threats to American business sectors that are deemed part of the nation’s “critical infrastructure,” i.e., energy, petrochemical, electric utilities, communication, transportation, health, banking and finance, agriculture, water and shipping. • An understanding of the varied legal issues associated with terrorism and criminal negligence claims against businesses that have suffered a terror attack or serious criminal act in cyberspace or the physical world. • A comprehensive review of how to develop appropriate physical security methods.
SPEAKERS and LOCATION: The symposium will be held at the Federal Reserve Bank, 1801 Allen Parkway, Houston, Texas. The registration fee is $300.00, which includes breakout refreshments, a hosted lunch,
and extensive printed materials, e.g., Terrorism Law: Materials, Cases, Comments (5th Ed. 2009). Participants may qualify for Continuing Legal Education Credits (CLE). For registration information and details, contact Ms. Faithe Campbell at (210) 431-2219; email@example.com. Additional information is also available at the Center for Terrorism Law website: www.stmarytx.edu/ctl.
26 - 27 March 2009 - Raleigh, NC - "Sexspionage" The 6th annual Raleigh Spy Conference salutes lady spies - and their counterparts on the other side - with
expert speakers delivering riveting tales of Sexspionage, the new term
characterizing the current emphasis on gender in the murky world of
international intrigue. Lady spies have played a crucial role in
espionage for centuries, from ancient civilizations through the
Biblical era, world wars, the Cold War and today's sophisticated
environment of modern espionage. As the flood of newly declassified
documents over the past 15 years attests, female operatives were
responsible for many of the most daring intelligent operations of the
modern era - while others played a notorious role working against the
US. And the role of sex in spy adventures has taken center stage though
Speakers: Brian Kelley, retired CIA operations officer, presents videotaped, jailhouse interviews of convicted spies and their wives (the spouses of former FBI agents Earl Pitts and Richard Miller along with the former wife of CIA officer, Jim Nicholson); wives who were complicit in their husband's espionage (Barbara Walker, Anne Henderson Pollard and Rosario Ames) along with an interview of the former Soviet citizen who seduced FBI agent Richard Miller on behalf of the KGB.
Ron Olive, retired special agent from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and author of "Capturing Jonathan Pollard: How One of the Most Notorious Spies in American History was Brought to Justice," that uncovered the role of Pollard's wife Anne.
I.C. Smith, former FBI Special Agent, presents the story of Katrina Leung, known inside the FBI as "Parlor Maid," who managed to seduce her two FBI case agents, compromising them during the course of the twenty year operation. She was first used by the FBI as a double agent, then "doubled back" or "tripled" by Chinese intelligence against the FBI and later becoming the only known "quadruple" (re-doubled back against the Chinese by the FBI) agent yet exposed.
Terry Crowdy, British espionage writer and researcher will offer the role of female spies and tales of seduction from antiquity, the Christian era to modern lady spies at work today. Crowdy's book "The Enemy Within" is considered one of the top surveys of espionage.
Nigel West, the keynote speaker, is a former MP - and a leading expert on modern espionage. He is the author of the forthcoming "Historical Dictionary of Sexspionage," due out before the conference.
Costs: Full registration for all sessions and one ticket to the Spy Gala: $250
For this special conference, ladies are invited to attend for $125.00, one-half off the registration cost.
Veterans, members of the military and the intelligence community: $175
Seniors over 62, teachers and students: $145.
Special discount for ladies! Only $125.000 for the entire conference package.
You can register online or call 919-831-0999. http://www.raleighspyconference.com
Event Location: Plans are under way to hold the 6th Raleigh Spy Conference at the Museum of History. Stay tuned for more details as event plans are finalized.
2 May 2009 - Washington, DC - The OSS Society William J. Donovan Award Dinner Honors General David H. Petraeus, USA, Commander, United States Central
Command at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 1330 Maryland Ave SW,
Washington, DC. Black Tie/Dress Mess. Cocktails, $150 pp. 6:30 p.m.,
Dinner 7:30 p.m. For further information or to register call
703-356-6667 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org
For Additional Events two+ months or greater....view our online Calendar of Events
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